Monday, January 9, 2012

...Quoth Ira Glass

I've been a fan of This American Life (no, not my American life--I'm talking about the show) for years now. It is one of the few works of media that remains undiminished in its capacity to enrich its audience, despite the sheer size and nature of that audience. Ira Glass, the show's creator, has managed to preserve its whole integrity. As an artist and a reporter, as a thinker and a contributor to the world of media, specifically to radio, he is unsurpassed.

You have to trust a man with a desk in the mountains.
I say all this by way of introduction, because what follows is a quote that has earned its trip around the Internet. I'm not much for quotes, typically. Too often they're mis-attributed, or you don't know enough about who said it to make any difference. But if anyone is qualified to make this case, it is Ira Glass:

A friend and fellow screenwriter (one of my peers at BU) shared this on Facebook, and I was sufficiently impressed to want to spend more than a follow-up comment on it. Perhaps I'll better remember it now that I've dedicated a whole blog post to it.

I've spent a good part of the last four months feeling crappy about my work. I decided after reading this that that's good enough. I've had my fill of humble pie. It's time to dig in and, as Ira suggests, "do a lot of work." I can look at my writing, at my efforts and sweat and blood, and I can say, "This isn't very good." And then, instead of whining about it, I can say OK, and push it aside, and get back to work.

I will end with this open letter to Ira Glass:


Thou art the man.




  1. This is part of an amazing 4 part series. Watch it on youtube here:

    He really IS the man, and I make sure all my 187ers watch these to know it.

  2. Agreed--with the quote and the Courtney's comment. And, as you know, I am fully aware of how much bad, not-so-hot and so forth stuff you have to create in order to do something you really feel good about once in awhile. Dig in and go for it!

  3. nice. i didn't know who had really said that, good to know the "real" source :)

  4. I have been thinking about that gap a lot lately. Thanks for taking the time to talk about it. I want to talk about it with people, why don't we talk about it more?

    1. I don't know, but I agree. It should underscore pretty much everything we talk about when we're starting out.


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